Following on from their split with Promethean Misery, I was keen to hear more from Illimitable Dolor. Well, now is that opportunity; Leaden Light contains 52 minutes of material, carved into five exquisite slices.
This is music that combines crushing heaviness, forlorn melodies, and atmospheric grandeur. It’s emotion and atmosphere that Leaden Light mainly concentrates on, however, rather than sheer heaviness for its own sake.
The songs are achingly emotive; filled with the aural equivalent of sadness and loss, there’s a strong funeral doom streak here, and the band handle the emotive subjects well without becoming maudlin or mawkish. The result is music that is bleak-yet-gorgeous. Filled with negatively charged emotion this album may be, but it doesn’t lack in beauty because of it.
Textured instrumental interludes help extend the song lengths, while never coming across as filler, simply a necessary expression of woe. Massive growls and piercing screams seem to break through the surface of the music’s rumbling doom, while other vocalisations appear here and there as needed. Keyboards add charismatic extra atmosphere, and I like the use of piano and organ.
Ending with the delicate sombre grace of the shortest track 2.12.14, which serves as a keyboard and clean guitar-led mood piece. In some ways it feels as if the entire album has been building to this final song, and with it a form of cathartic release. It’s a fitting and effective way to bring to a close a very strong album.
Leaden Light doesn’t stray from the death/doom mould too far, but rather embraces it and works to the emotive strengths of the genre. Illimitable Dolor have crafted a sterling album here.